ASLM will define and implement laboratory guidelines and develop a network of labs and systems for accrediting training programs.
International partners which have been helping to get ASLM up and running were also represented, including the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.
ASLM Board of Directors chair John Nkengasong, PhD, called the establishment of ASLM the "culmination of years of concerted efforts led by African institutions and international development partners to ensure that laboratory medicine in Africa meets the highest scientific standards.
As a unified organization dedicated to standardizing practices and procedures of African labs, ASLM is the direct result of these and other earlier efforts.
Such organizational and strategic issues aside, the implications of ASLM for the human beings who depend on Africa's healthcare system are enormous.
Just before the March meeting that formally created ASLM, Dr, Nkengasong emphasized the importance of the work that lay before the new organization by citing sobering statistics: "Excluding those in South Africa, only 8.
ASLM has been busy since its March launch, Shannon Heard Castle, director, American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Global Outreach, stresses that her organization has helped ASLM lay the groundwork for a peer-reviewed publication, "The African Journal of Laboratory Medicine.